The Venice Project, the new online television startup led by Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, has always been a working name for the company. Until today, no one outside the company knew name the company would eventually launch as.
A tip from reader Joost Schreve led us to the domain name Joost.com: if you click the “cancel” button multiple times an unformatted web page pops up with information about the Venice Project. We have subsequently confirmed that this is the actual launch name of the company.
The domain name registration information, which can be accessed here, shows that it is currently owned by a Dutch corporation called Oak Grove Corporation, with a mailing address in Curacao.
The strategy of using a code name for a pre-launch company is rarely used. The last high profile example was Marc Andreesen’s 2005 startup Ning, which used the working name 24 Hour Laundry until launch. It makes sense if the company wants to start marketing the product before the first choice domain name is acquired, but it also dilutes the brand name.